‘A population health approach to palliative care is the most under developed at this stage of palliative care service development. Yet it is the approach that has the most potential to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing to the widest number of people in sickness and in health, in dying and in loss, and in all caring experiences toward one another’ (PHPCI, 2014).
In 2015 two hospices and the Hermitage Charitable Trust ?successfully bid for Big Local Lottery funding to create a Supportive Care Centre opening in September 2015.
Funding enabled a local facility for the hospices and selected partners to increase local engagement and confidence in matters concerning death, dying and bereavement; building on and integrating local formal and informal support networks.
The centre acts as a local base for community engagement facilitating care and support closer to home. Being an outpost for traditional hospice services is secondary to the main vision, which aims to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement, make plans for end-of-life and enable a Compassionate Communities approach to end of life care.
It is intended that the centre becomes first point of contact for those seeking advice and support on matters to do with end-of-life care. New and innovative ways of partnership working is central to our philosophy. Bereavement and Dementia Help Points run with local partners. A Carers’ Help Point launched April 2016. Objectives include:
Increased collaborative working
Increased advance care planning
Helping people remain at home at end of life
Improved carer support
Increased uptake of services and support
Reduced social isolation
Increased volunteering opportunities.
Evaluation will be qualitative and quantitative. Sustainability is dependent on local support and the hospices’ strategic support based on evaluation of impact.
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